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Stephen Z. Starr, The Union Cavalry in the Civil War

The Comprehensive History of Lincoln’s Horse Soldiers!


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Stephen Z. Starr’s The Union Cavalry in the Civil War is a monumental three-volume study of the Union’s much-maligned mounted arm.

Starr, the longtime president of Cincinnati Historical Society spent the last twenty years of his life working to understand – and to some extent redeem – the Union army’s cavalry. With such late-war examples as Phil Sheridan, this would not have seemed to be necessary, but Yankee horsemen had always faded in comparison to the vaunted rebel cavalier in Twentieth Century history books.

Starr used his first two volumes to explain the reasons for the apparent weakness of the Army of the Potomac’s mounted force compared to Stuart’s Confederates. Significant episodes of maturation at Brandy Station and Gettysburg led to the development of a powerful, well-led striking force by the last year of the war.

With Volume III Starr introduced the western Yankee horseman, who brought much of the frontiersman to his identity. Again, initially undisciplined an ill-commanded, the Westerners learned to fight while maintaining a sense of rugged independence.

Rebels learned to detest, and then grudgingly respect the likes of Charles Jennison’s Seventh Kansas Cavalry. In thirty-five years no other work has matched Starr’s in painting a comprehensive picture of the Union Cavalry.

Very good; light sunning to dust jackets. Inscribed and signed in Volume I, April 8, 1981.

Starr, Stephen Z. THE UNION CAVALRY IN THE CIVIL WAR. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1979-1985. 1st edition, 3 volumes, frontispieces, illustrations, maps.

Additional information

Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 6 in